With the school summer holidays approaching fast it can be a challenge keeping the kids entertained but being strapped for cash doesn’t mean you have to be short on ideas. There are lots of things to see, do and experience. Here are a few ideas with one eye on the pennies.
1. Get out in the great outdoors
For most of us, green space is not that far away and in it, there is plenty of adventure to be had. There are walks to go on, wildlife to spot and bike rides to enjoy. Ideally with an ice cream or two on the hotter days so make the most of the outdoors on your doorstep. Free to enjoy for everyone. We love Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives. Activities are categorised into ages, but you can search them all here.
2. Look at what’s on at your local leisure centre
Local leisure and community centres are a super source of low-cost entertainment during school holiday time. From leisure to family swimming slots, indoor leisure activities and even free yoga classes for the parents of older children in the pool, there is always something to keep everyone entertained. Take a look online - or pop into your local centre – and you’re likely to discover a great range of events.
3. Trust in the National Trust
For a fraction of what you might spend on a big summer holiday, you could invest in a National Trust family membership](http://https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/membership#family-block-dropdown+). Overseeing some 300 historic houses, more than 600,000 acres of land and 700 miles of coastline across the UK, they put on lots of events and things to do. We like this list of 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾. How many have you completed so far? What are you waiting for?
4. Local fun on tap
A quick internet search of what’s going on in your area often throws up some excellent events to enjoy. Websites like https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/ and https://letsgowiththechildren.co.uk will allow you to tailor your search locally. Websites such as event brite can even make this search easy for you, just filter your search results for ‘free events’, and set your location to wherever, and with the wave of a wand, it’ll gift you with a range of ideas to choose from.
5. Catch a film
A family trip out to the cinema can be costly, but there are ways to save. Find out which local cinema chains offer cheap tickets for children’s movies. Adult and child tickets for Vue’s Mini Mornings cost £2.49 for the best family films. There are similar offers available from Cineworld too. And if making the trip is too much of a hassle or still too costly, why not get your family and friends together and make it a day in front of the TV at home together? Grab some popcorn and ice cream and pick a movie to suit. If you’re into local theatre, some venues also offer 'pay what you can' performances, where the price is up to you to decide. They’ll usually be on a specific date in a show's run and will have limited availability, so you may need to be quick to book.
7. Get sporty
A bit of sport is another cheap and easy way to keep the children active, suitably entertained and tired by the end of the day. So, find the football, take out the tennis rackets and sling the cricket set over your shoulder and head for the park and an afternoon of friendly, family competition. Or think of rounders, football, or even just running races to get them into the competitive spirit. Keep a scoresheet and use your phone for a stopwatch.
8. Use discount codes
When planning your summer family fun, research discount codes and offers that you could redeem against bookings. Sites like https://www.vouchercloud.com, https://www.hotukdeals.com and https://www.wowcher.co.uk offer deals of up to 80% off ten-pin bowling for example, making it very much worth a look. And even better, keep your eyes wide open for Wowcher’s 2-for-1 discount scheme that can get you into places like Sea Life Centre, amusement parks and museums across the country, just make sure to make an account and subscribe to their newsletter so you’re kept up to date!
9. Visit your local library or museum
The mention of the library might not float your kids’ boat, but there’s plenty of fun stuff going on at libraries all over the UK. Check out what’s on. Or see what your nearest museum has to offer. They often host free, family-friendly events over the summer. Take a look at this round up of the best museums for kids in the UK. There are around 2,500 of them so there is sure to be one on your doorstep.